Marrakech : Migration is not a security issue, Moroccan King Mohammed VI has said, and migrant rights are “inalienable”, noting that the side of the border on which a migrant stands does not make him or her more or less human.
The challenge for the Intergovernmental Conference on the Global Compact for Migration, which opened Monday in this Moroccan resort, is to show that the international community has opted for responsible solidarity, adding that in order to achieve this objective, the sovereign right of each member state to determine and apply its own migration policy ought to be fully respected.
Multilateralism is about synergies and about making commitments in which the right to differ is respected, Mohammed VI added, noting that the challenge for this conference is therefore to unite, in the face of populism, to bring together, in the face of isolationism, and to come up, through dialogue and international cooperation, with meaningful solutions to one of the major issues of our time.
No single country can, on its own, face up to such a challenge. Just as there is no alternative to cooperation, there is no alternative to action, either, he said, adding that the Global Compact is not an end in itself as it will be meaningful only if it is effectively implemented, Morocco’s MAP news agency reported.
Viewed from this angle, the Marrakech Conference is, first and foremost, a call to action, noting that Africa has already responded to this call and does not intend to be on the sidelines.
Africa will not be the subject of the Global Compact, but the African continent will be an actor – a key one, the Moroccan monarch pointed out, adding that the African Agenda on Migration has laid out its roadmap.
This agenda has played a pioneering role, anticipating the importance of being aware of migratory dynamics, something which has been acknowledged by the Global Compact, the King said, adding that this agenda has dedicated a fully-fledged institution to migratory dynamics, the African Observatory for Migration and Development, which will have its headquarters in Morocco and which is explicitly mentioned in the Compact.
“My hope is to see the work of this Observatory effectively enhanced through networking with similar institutions in other regions,” the Sovereign said.
Migration is not a security issue – nor should it become one, the King said.
“A repressive migration policy will not be a deterrent. Through some perverse effect, repression deflects migratory dynamics, but does not stop them,” the monarch added, stressing that migrants’ rights cannot be ignored simply because there are security concerns.
Addressing security concerns should go hand in hand with socio-economic development policies which tackle the root causes of risky migration, the King said, adding that for the time being the Global Compact remains a promise which history will judge.